Step 1: Questions to Ask Yourself
1) What services do I offer?
Example: I offer leasing and sales services to retail properties in Downtown Las Vegas.
2) How do I want people to feel when they see my logo or name?
Example (1): Awe. You are the expert in their particular market. You know every retail manager in the downtown area, and you’re reputation in that community is strong.
Example (2): At ease. Your lower commission allows your client to be more at ease with the final cost, you have automated processes when dealing with listings, and the whole process is largely worry-free and hands off.
Example (3): Confident. You are diligent and known for getting the job done fast. You only take on a few listings, but your 24/hour job is to get vacant office space occupied in a hurry.
3) What do I want to achieve?
Example (1): To have a specialty business community that considers me their one and only expert.
Example (2): Provide less expensive and worry free marketing to many different clients’ listings.
Example (3): Be to go-to-person that’s known for getting the job done fast.
4) Who am I selling services to?
“Everyone” is not a good answer. The purpose of marketing is to identify exactly who wants your service and advertise to those people. A good example of a target market is:
Manufacturing Managers in North East Las Vegas.
(1) Target your field: Industrial. (2) Target business contact: Managers. (3) Target area: North East Las Vegas.
5) How do I remove my barriers to success?
Competition: Be the best at things your competition does the worst. Write down your three main adversaries. Now list the things they do best and worst. Focus on the worst and make sure you’re the best at it.
Financing: Talk to your bank about a small business loan or look into government grants or specialty loans for additional funding.
No Perceived Value: If you find people are losing their faith in hiring an agent, it’s likely because they’ve been burned before. Spend some extra time talking with a potential client, buy them coffee, and send them monthly mailers about their market place. After awhile they’re sure to come around.
Step 2: Good, Cheap, Fast. Pick Two.
This is perfect rule of thumb since there is no way a business can be everything to everybody. It’s not likely you can deliver the best services, dedicate tons of time to lease/sell every building, and have the lowest commissions in town. Instead, prioritize which one or two of these would contribute the most to your success.
Example (Good): Agents that decide that they’re going to be “the best” specialize in a subcategory. When you’re the leading expert in retail space located in Downtown Las Vegas, clients are willing to pay a premium for your extensive knowledge.
Example (Cheap): Are you in a competitive market where clients are looking for the biggest bang for their buck? Consider creating a streamlined process where a listing comes in, follows an automated process and largely sits untouched for weeks at a time.
Example (Fast): For commercial real estate agents this means spending a lot of time on a few projects in order to get them sold/leased quickly. Agents with this main philosophy will likely take on few projects, but spend 8 hours a day finding potential buyers/tenants.
Step 3: What’s my Angle?
Hopefully by bow you’ve clarified your target market, what you will be “best” at, you have decided which barriers to success to remove, and you have prioritized the rule-of-thumb: Good / Cheap / Fast. Now you have a much better idea of what kind of business you’ll be running, and what demographic will be buying from you. Now you can start deciding on what marketing materials your business needs and what message they will convey.